Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairperson George Garcia said the Comelec will need P5 billion if the 2022 barangay and SK polls are postponed to 2023.
Garcia, in an ABS-CBN News report, said the P8.4 billion current budget for the 2022 elections will no longer be enough if lawmakers decide to postpone the elections.
Postponing the elections would mean additional expenses to register more voters, produce more ballots, and procure more equipment, the official said.
Garcia, quoted in the report, said the continuing registration will bring in young people who are
now of voting age as well as former voters who had failed to vote in previous elections.
“The more voters you have, the more you register means you will need more equipment…That means we will need more teachers who will serve as poll workers on Election Day,” he said.
The government will also need an additional P5 billion if a proposal to increase the payment to teachers who will serve as poll workers will be approved.
But this amount could even go higher if the elections are postponed to another year to December 2023, the poll official said..
Earlier, a House panel voted to postpone the Dec. 5 polls for a year. The panel picked the first Monday of December 2023 as the new date for the said elections.
The proposed bill also said that the winners of the 2023 polls will begin their terms on Jan. 1, 2024, or a period of 3 years.
The supposed May 2020 election for barangay leaders and youth councils was moved to Dec. 5 this year through a law.
In the interview, Garcia said Comelec is ready to push through with the elections at anytime but urged lawmakers to make a decision soon, ABS-CBN News further reported.
“We need a decision before the end of August because we start printing ballots by September to middle of October,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Comelec is also preparing for the conduct of 18 plebiscites including a plebiscite to split Maguindanao province into two.